A phase II study of mitomycin C, etoposide, and cisplatin in advanced non-small cell lung cancer


Standard chemotherapeutic regimens, such as cisplatin and etoposide, may improve quality of life and prolong survival in patients with incurable non- small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This trial was designed to evaluate the activity and toxicity of a regimen combining three of the most active agents against advanced-stage NSCLC: mitomycin C, etoposide, and cisplatin (MEP). Sixty-eight patients with stage IIIB (pleural effusion) or IV NSCLC received cisplatin 80 mg/m2 i.v. on day 1 and etoposide 80 mg/m2 i.v. on days 1, 2, and 3 every 3 weeks along with mitomycin C 10 mg/m2 i.v. on day 1 of the first and third cycles for a median of four cycles (range, 1-11). Median age was 59 years, and nine patients were enrolled after relapse from previously treated early-stage NSCLC. Eighty-eight percent of patients had stage IV disease, and 14 (21%) had brain metastases at diagnosis. Palliative radiotherapy was given to 10 patients (15%) before MEP and to 17 (25%) concurrent with MEP. The major toxicity of MEP was myelosuppression, with grade 3-4 neutropenia in 74% of patients. Sixteen patients (24%) had documented infections, and there were eight (12%) treatment-related deaths. Partial response was observed in 24 patients (35%) with a median duration of 4.4 months, (range 1.4-13 months). Median survival was 8.1 months (range, 1- 34 months), and 1-year survival was 32%. The addition of mitomycin C to cisplatin and etoposide resulted in response and survival rates comparable with those achieved with standard regimens in patients with advanced NSCLC but was associated with substantial hematologic toxicity and unacceptable treatment-related mortality.

Publication Title

Cancer Investigation